UAC or User Account Control is essentially a security feature. The purpose of UAC is to prevent any unauthorized changes from being made to your computer without the permission of the administrator or the owner of the computer.
The UAC gets triggered when a user, application, or service proceeds to make any certain change in files or settings on your computer. In such a scenario, a window will appear labeled as ‘User Account Control’ and the window will contain the details about what changes are being made and it will only process the changes if it gets a confirmation from the administrator.
Turning On User Account Control From Control Panel
The User Account Control can be easily configured to your preference using via the Control Panel. To do that, first, open up the Control Panel by searching for it in the Start Menu search and selecting it from the search results.
Once the Control Panel window appears, click on ‘User Accounts’.
After that, you will be presented with two new options. Select the first one which is ‘User Accounts’.
After that, under the ‘Make changes to your user account’ section, click on ‘Change User Account Control settings’.
Now, you will be presented with the ‘User Account Control Settings’ Window. It will contain a vertical slider with 4 settings. By default, the slider will be set to the second one. From here, you can configure how you want the UAC feature to work.
If you set the slider to the very first option, it will trigger a UAC prompt every time when a change is being made from any source. This includes applications, other users, and even you or anyone with administrative privileges.
This setting is recommended when you frequently make changes to your computer and its core components like the Registry or services. You can also use this if you install software that makes changes to system directories or background processes.
Normally the slider will be set to the second option. This option will trigger a UAC prompt when a third-party application or a user without admin access such as a local user requests to make changes to the computer.
If you set the slider to the third option, you are practically turning off the User Account Control feature. When this option is selected, your screen will not get dimmed as it used to when the previous two options were selected. The dimmed state prevents any action or changes to finalize before consent is provided via the UAC window.
This essentially means, when is option is selected, malicious applications can bypass the security check and make changes to your computer. This setting is not recommended. Especially if you are connected to the internet and install software from third-party sources.
The fourth and final option completely disables UAC. If set to this setting, you, any non-admin user, or any application can make changes to your computer without going through any kind of security check. This can put your computer at security risks and we highly recommend you to never set your computer to this setting unless you are working with a program that is interfering with UAC controls and you know that the application will cause no harm to your computer.
Once you have set the slider to your preferred setting, you can save the changes by clicking ok ‘OK’.
Turning On User Account Control using Local Security Policy Editor
There is an alternative method of turning on UAC and that is via the Local Security Policy editor. To do that, first, open up the Run window by pressing Windows+r on your keyboard. After the Run window appears, type ‘secpol.msc’ inside the command line and press Enter.
A window will appear called ‘Local Security Policy’. After that, from the left panel, click on ‘Local Policies’ and then select ‘Security Options’ from the expanded menu.
Now, on the right panel, scroll down and you will see the policy labeled as ‘User Account Control: Run all administrators in Admin Appr…’. Double-click on that policy.
A new window will come up. From there, select the ‘Enabled’ toggle and click on ‘OK’.
You have enabled UAC and now you can close the Local Security Policy editor window.